January 10, 2016

Been a long time......."Lucy! You have some 'splaining to do!"

Dear Readers.......Indeed I do. So much has happened since I last posted, but I have no excuse that is any different from any other Mom, Chef, Wife, Citizen, Dog Mama, Teacher. Life is fast, and busy. I let this one go into the outfield (sorry, Im not a sports person....so no more references).

Since moving to Oakland from Berkeley 3 years ago, our lives seem to have gone into warp speed, (yes, I know, Star Wars just came out....again).  My baby girl is now fully into pre-teen mode, 6th grade and keeping me on my toes. My husband has quit driving due to damage in his eyes, done long before we met, from diabetic reinopathy, and thusly my responsibilities in our little family have gone through the ceiling. I am the sole driver, kid caregiver and transporter, homework helper (ugh! as much as I can with everything in education doing flip flops every few years!), meal planner/maker, home cleaner and maintainer (Troy can't see well enough to do any of it), gardener, teacher (we will get more into that in a minute), and bacon bringing homer. Whew! Yes.  My life is uber wrapped up in everyone else, and thusly I have VERY LITTLE TIME for the things that I enjoy, like reading and writing this blog.

But still, I am a very fortunate woman, with great passion for my family and what I do for a living, so my life also feels full to the brim of purpose these days. Since accepting the position of Director of Nutrition and Executive Chef at PUSD, I have tripled sales in food service, combined forces with Di, who has been overseeing food for the middle school for 22 years (egads!), hired my dear friend, colleague and techie guru Mary, to work with us and hired another PT person, Anita to fill in the gaps and lend culinary support.
On top of combining food service for two schools, planning, ordering, writing menus, receiving product, producing two meals a day for both schools from scratch out of my kitchen, and managing student TAs who help us every period of every day, I have added an ROP Culinary course, after lunch, for Juniors and Seniors. Writing that cirriculum, teaching and evaluating skills, producing results and grading each student. In the Summer, I still teach my Farm to Table course, taking students to my dear friend's local farms, learning about how they do their work, getting inspired and coming back to my kitchen to plan and cook and serve a meal using what we have learned and products we have gleaned from the farm, for a local Cerebral Palsy Center's clients and staff. Full. Of. Purpose.

Our urban neighborhood is a bit of a good food desert though. Sad but true. I could not afford to buy a home in any of the places I truly wanted to be, so that I could walk everywhere. Here, most things require a car or a bus, and honestly, most of the places you could walk to, you...or certainly I, would not want to go to anyway. There are alot of bad things that still go on nearby, but many good things happening here too. More families, better gardens, community coffee in the am on Fridays, etc.

My main goal, in our surrounding neighborhood, is to connect with the powers at be at nearby Mills College,
and talk them into bringing in a farmers market once a week on campus. It would bring our community together, it would also allow residents of this good food desert to get some exposure and access to great food and ingredients and of course be great PR for Mills as well. Just like in the movie....."If you build it, they will come". Maybe that's why I am here. To build it.

So........One of my goals this 2016, is to put some effort into this blog each Sunday. Yes...You heard it! I'm actually even putting it on my calendar. And if you don't see me here, nudge me will you? Or call me out even! Here's to a fruitful year of good food, great ideas and words pulled into being.

Pinky swear.

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